It was an honest mistake. I don't know how it happened.
I am slowly, but surely, turning into what can only be termed as a coffee snob. As the years have progressed, my palate has become much more discriminating when it comes to a cup of joe. For the longest time, as long as it was brown and caffeinated, I could have cared less about brand names or brews. Now, I'm a little more fickle. Don't get me wrong; I'll never refuse a cup of coffee in any setting or situation. However, if I have my choice, I will opt for Starbucks as often as possible. When I'm traveling or in the midst of a morning drive, there's nothing like fresh brewed Starbucks coffee. Oh, my salivary glands are doing a salsa dance just thinking about it.
Seattle's Best Coffee has a drink or selection for any particular mood in which I find myself. If I'm just getting the day started, a Breakfast Blend, Colombia, or Pike Place will do just fine. If I need an afternoon jolt, make mine an Americano with a shot of hazelnut. If I'm just looking for great flavor, bring on the White Chocolate Mocha. Give me a moment here. I seem to be drooling on my keyboard. As you can tell, few culinary items bring me greater delight.
The other day, I found myself driving through my home state of Illinois back to Ohio. It was to be approximately a 600 mile trip. I left at the unholy hour of 5:00 a.m. Truthfully, I like driving in the morning. It's quiet on the road; I get to see the sun rise, and I tend to be my most philosophical at that hour, especially with a venti something in my hand. However, I was driving through mainly rural areas. It would be over two hours before I spotted the long-awaited green-haired maiden that serves as Starbucks' logo. Upon arriving in the capital city of Springfield, I managed to navigate my way to the nearest location. Though near a comatose state, I mumbled my order to the barista and received my tall glass of artificial happiness. I found myself buoyed by the transaction and the anticipation of tasting sweet nectar upon my lips.
Now reenergized, I merged back onto the interstate and was ready to take on the rest of the day, coffee poised on my left thigh, right hand on the steering wheel. My mind began to drift off and consider the previous days' ministry and what awaited me on my return home. Each sip brought newfound joy and excitement to my mind. All was right with the world.
About a half hour later, I realized something was amiss. I was traveling on I-72, headed to Indianapolis...or at least I thought I was. Yet up ahead, I noticed that the road was about to divide into two. Those in the left lanes would be on a road heading north to Peoria, while the rest would be on Interstate 55 headed to Chicago. "What happened to 72?" I blurted aloud to no one in particular. My coffee-induced nirvana came crashing down, and I found myself in unknown territory. The coffee was now in a drink holder next to the gear shift as I called my brother and sought some online wisdom from him. "How long have you been off I-72?" he queried. "About five minutes," I said. He advised me to turn around as quick as possible and merge back onto 72. But five miles later I didn't see it. I called him back and asked him to try to plot my direction on an online map. When I gave him specifics of the mile marker I was near, he deduced that I had been off the marked path for some time.
I was completely befuddled. This never happens to me, honest. Growing up, I was always the guy with the atlas. I was the trusty navigator. Now here I was, way off course. While that probably qualifies me to be a commercial airline pilot, it doesn't do much for time management. By the time I finally got back to Interstate 72, I determined that I had been on the wrong interstate for over 40 miles. It seems that my route exited at some point, but I was so enthralled with my coffee that I clearly missed it. All told, it added between 60-90 minutes to my trip. That turned out to be an expensive cup of java.
I guess that's the beauty of being enraptured by something. Of course, in the future I should probably aim a bit higher with my affections, but the point is made. Worship, when done correctly and from the heart, lifts the heart and soul far above the cares of the moment, far beyond our to-do lists and calendars. It causes us to fly with eagle's wings above the temporary and to grasp the eternal with both hands. I want to challenge you to not wait until the next church service. Find time in your week to break away from things and to focus on His face. May worship - sung, spoken, and pondered - enrapture you to the point that the next item on the agenda just doesn't matter. Wouldn't it be wonderful to give God that kind of quality time? Long for Him more than any desire, and He will fill it. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Get lost in Him. Just don't do it while you're driving...unless you have GPS.